May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Gal. 6:14, NIV.
Everything had been going well in my life for the past year. I was working and going to college for the degree I had always dreamed of. I was content and proud of myself for the things that I had accomplished through my own efforts, my work, my money, my—my—
The holidays passed, and life fell back into its normal routine. The first several months of the New Year, however, were marked by problems and deceptions. On one of the first days my new cell phone was stolen. Several days later, I received the news that my mother had cancer in the advanced stages. One day as I was returning home from church, the bus on which I was riding came under assault. Several days later I was fired from one of my jobs.
Suddenly I saw all my dreams and expectations for the New Year crumble. Everything I had been so proud of vanished into thin air. My self-esteem plummeted. I felt discouraged, sad, and without hope for better days. The future seemed very dim.
I then understood that all my pride in the things that I owned had blinded me and not allowed me to feel my dependence on God. In reality I needed to lose so that I could truly gain.
Little by little, I began to recover my self-esteem and to regain what I had lost.
Every time that I obtained something, my first thought was gratitude to God for the blessing received. This created in me a spirit of gratitude and praise as I saw each act of God in my life. Seeing the sunrise of another day, being able to earn my own way, to sleep peacefully in Jesus’ arms, are blessings that I’m thankful for each day. I’m proud of myself for being able to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him, and to be able to witness to His love for me.
Today I praise God because in spite of all the difficulties, I feel He has been by my side. He prepared the way so that I could understand that all things on this earth are temporary, and that what truly counts are the blessings we receive and the time we spend in the presence of this wonderful God!
Thank You, Lord, for remaining at my side even when I forget You. Help me to always be grateful and conscious of Your presence. Amen!